Post conference re-entry to the world

By | 31 January 2012

Well, not quite over.  We still have in prospect the Heads’ Conference in Bristol in May – and in fact Wednesday this week sees three of us, including Chairman Richard Harman, spending a day in Bristol to ‘test-run’ possible menus for the Conference.  February fare would normally be wintry and filling; sample menus for this event will certainly try to reflect the different season and the warm, balmy evenings of May.
Meanwhile, it’s good to be back in the office where the emails have piled up while we attended the Deputies’ Conference in Cardiff.  Our best ever attendance – great that people were apparently not put off by crossing the Severn, even with its toll.  And the evaluations – this year, for the first time, electronic post-conference – are showing very high satisfaction rates, with 93% of respondents saying they would come again next year.  Our thanks to all our speakers and exhibitors who made it such an enjoyable conference and affordable.
I hope all member schools with A level pupils and summer lettings replied to the recent UCAS consultation on introducing a post-results application process for uiniversity students.  While in principle that sounds eminently sensible, moving the exam dates so that the results are available at the end of June, and students make their applications in a three week window in July, might make things very difficult for boarding schools which expect to have summer lettings on the premises from very early July.  It’s highly likely such objections might be considered unimportant in the great plan to make the application process for thousands of students better, but there could be considerable unintended-consequence impact on the business plans of many boarding schools.
On Thursday 2 Feb, I shall be attending a meeting addressed by Damian Green – it will be interesting to hear his latest pronouncements on immigration.  We continue to assert ‘We’re different!’ when independent boarding schools get swept up in legislation and government anxieties about immigration, and we believe that Government recognises this.  But if – as the papers tell us – fewer indigenous students are making applications for university next year, it won’t be surprising if the universities wish to admit more international students.  We live in interesting times.
But at least it’s almost February, and the evenings are drawing out, and Spring is on the way – snowdrops and daffodils appearing cheer the heart.
Have a good week.
This post originally appeared at http://boarding.org.uk/blog/show/17

Category: BSA

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